4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2006 12:24 PM by Joey Marti
Joey Marti Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
ok i recently got a new harddrive because i ran out of space on my old one. i have started everything over fresh and i want to take EVERYTHING from my old iTunes and put it on my new harddrive. One thing i have tried is taking the itunes>music folder and copied onto my ipod (enable disk use) and then put it on my new hard drive. well my problem is that i dont have the same number of items and its missing all of the ratings and play counts and any of the small details like "skip during shuffle". another problem is that all of my videos are under the movie category, which will take me forever to organize. please help me because i really do not want to organize my whole library again

Windows XP
  • Buegie Level 6 Level 6 (13,330 points)
    If you want to make another drive (direct or portable) on your PC the main music location for iTunes, move all song files there, as well as any future imported music from CDs, here is one method (see the links below): Buegie

    You will maintain your playlists, ratings, comments, etc. This will only move your music folders location, NOT your iTunes program files or the Library database files. It is my opinion that programs (i.e. – iTunes) work better when installed on your main hard drive. At the very least, it makes it easier to manage all your programs if they are centrally located on one hard drive (the Windows default standard).

    See these links for some step-by-step info:
    iLounge: Moving your iTunes Library to a New Hard Drive
    MacMuse: iTfW: Move iTunes music/Library to new drive
    iTunes: Moving your iTunes Music folder

    If you are moving the music to an external hard drive or network drive, after the transfer (and to work correctly), the drive must be running prior to your opening iTunes. If not, iTunes will reset the location of your music folder location to the default location (usually: ‘C:\...My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music’). If this happens, you need to manually change the path back to your external location, or future CD ‘Imports’ will be deposited on your internal HD.

    Also make sure that the new drive always loads as the same Drive Letter, otherwise you will lose the references within iTunes.
  • Joey Marti Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    i did what the apple link was saying but i am trying to get rid of my old hard drive, and the way that they show it is as if im going to use both hard drives. i want to move all of my music and all of the playlists times played ect to my new hard drive, so that when i go on itunes its all the same. i did exactly what it said but when i open itunes my library is blank even though i have the library located in the right destination, this whole thing is confusing please help im getting really frustrated
  • Buegie Level 6 Level 6 (13,330 points)
    Then you want to clone your original HD to the new HD. See below - same concept as moving between two computers, you just do it between two HDs on the same PC..

    How to Copy and Move your Music Files from One Computer to Another Buegie

    This is the conceptual framework with related and important links. Apply and adapt it to your specific situation and equipment resources.

    The safest, quickest, and most optimal method to move your Library to a new computer is to actually clone the entire ‘iTunes’ folder (directory) structure, rather than just copying just the song files. By copying the entire ‘iTunes’ folder and all sub-folders, you capture not only the music files, but the all-important ‘iTunes Library.itl’ database file (usually located in the ‘iTunes’ folder), which contains all the data about your songs (Playlists, Ratings, Play Counts, Last Played, Date Added, etc). See: What are the iTunes Library files?

    Install iTunes on the new computer. Then go back to your old computer and move (copy) the "iTunes" folder which usually resides inside your "…\My Documents\My Music" folder from the old computer to the exact same place (both Drive Letter and complete Path) on the new computer. When you open iTunes on the new computer it will look and behave exactly the same way it did on the old, Play Counts, Ratings, Comments and all!

    NOTE: It is usually safer moving files between computers with the same version of iTunes!!

    iTunes Files to Copy and Move to your New PC
    1) All music files in their current folder structure (usually located in and under the ‘iTunes Music’ folder)
    2) The Library database file: ‘iTunes Library.itl’ located in the ‘iTunes’ folder
    3) The Library XML file: ‘iTunes Music Library.xml’ located in the ‘iTunes’ folder
    4) Any XML playlist files you created for Playlist retention
    5) The two iTunes.pref files (optional)
    -- C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes.pref
    -- C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer Inc\iTunes.pref
    6) The XML file of Ratings, Play Counts and Last Played attributes saved from the main Library and created by Otto’s SaveRatings script (also optional, but recommended):
    “Download this: http://ottodestruct.com/itunes/SaveRatings.zip . It's a program, just run it like any other program. Run it on the machine where you're copying the info from BEFORE you move the files to the new machine. Click the "Save Ratings" button and it'll create a ratings.xml file. Now when you move the files, move the program and this file as well. Then after you make your new iTunes library, run it again and click the "Restore Ratings" button. Voila, all your information is back in the Library. Well, most of it anyway, it's not perfect. It'll tell you what songs it couldn't figure out though, and there's usually not very many.”


    Here's a list of methods to copy and move your music files from one computer to another:

    1) Use an External Hard Drive (ExHD) to move the complete files and Folder structures from one computer to another (my preferred option). You can clone’ the entire ‘iTunes’ folder structure in one very easy step. Also great to have available for complete backups of your Library. External hard drives now run less than $100 for 200-250GBs of storage. See This Link

    2) Directly connect the two computers....
    - 2a) Connect them through a Router &/or Network
    - 2b) Directly connect using an Ethernet cable: Straight for using at least one Mac; or Crossover for PC/PC Instructions here.
    - 2c) Connect them via a USB-to-USB Network Bridge. Example here. There are various types out there (use Google).
    ....Then copy the files from one computer to the other.

    3) Use the iPod as a transfer device, as this extensive Apple link explains. It will be a bit easier if your iPod has a larger capacity than your music collection, otherwise you will need to perform multiple copy/move transfers. This well written process also works fine while using any other data transfer medium (ExHD, Flash Drive, DVD, CD, Zipp, Jazz, etc.).

    4) Burn several DVDs (at 4.7GBs each) with your music data files and folder structure, and load them onto the new computer. Re-writable DVDs are more cost effective (if your DVD drive can manage these types).

    5) Burn 6x more on CDs (at 700MB each) than in #4 above and load the files and folders on the new computer. Re-writable CDs are more cost effective (if your CD drive can manage these types).

    6) Use a larger USB Flash drive (1GB - 4GB) to move the files and folders. Best if the flash drive is larger than your Library, otherwise you will need multiple copy/move transfers.

    These are links to various additional instructions on performing the transfer (read them all, but some listed steps may not be required depending on your specific situation):
    Switch from PC to Mac Using the iPod
    hudgie: Migrating iTunes for Windows to a new PC
    How to copy music between authorized computers
  • Joey Marti Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    thank you so much, the first way is what i did, i should have thought of that in the begining, easy solution